Well, Shark7, I agree with your wishes until Diplomacy: Alliances. I found your definition of alliances too... strict. For example, I don't think allies should be forced to go to war. Backstabbing should happen, nobody should be forced to automatically declare war. They should be asked if they want to go to war. I also don't think there should be any other benefits from alliances, like military or economically. Maybe some increased immigration, espionage chance between allies and maybe tourism, as you suggested. Allies relations should be good but they should deteriorate normally and there shouldn't be too much pre-definitions. Like, a pacific and a aggressive race shouldn't normally ally but there should be no problems between bugs and humans, or a "neutral" race to ally with aggressive or passive races.
Your suggestions to intelligence are okay. I'd add that race and empire policies should play a big role in intelligence and intelligence should have it's own tech tree (if it already has these things, pardon me, I forgot about it). For example, you should be able to recruit a boskara spy, either a mercenary or from your population, and it should have a better chance to steal tech from a boskara Civ than a human has, because humans don't find tech info laying around in the boskaran empire and should have a harder time invading facilities. Of course, empires with various races should be easier to penetrate than "pure" empires and planets, so exterminating or enslaving certain races could be useful now.
I think your wishlist is rather modest and that we should dream bigger.
In the diplomacy field, subjugation of one empire should be available to only one empire at the time. So if X empire is losing a war to Y empire and it accepts subjugation, only Y empire would have it subjugated and X would enter Y sphere of influence. Other empires, like Z, could have the option to demand, in war or diplomatically, the release of X as Y subjugated empire. Moreover, another subjugation option should be added: enthralling. You could have the option to enthrall a warring empire or escalate an already subjugated one in enthralling (by force). Being your thrall, the empire would be force to accept certain decisions. Maybe we could have several types of enthrallment, like economical, where the thrall a good portion of it's industry (capability to build ships), resources and money to yours. One research thrall would be subject to add it's research points to your, maybe even serving as living subjects to planet wide experiments that could result in the death of the subjects in the expense of rapid research. Or they could be Battle Thralls, serving in every war you declare, sending ships to battle and making peace and declaring war at your command. Think Kzer-Za Battle Thralls. Maybe all this could be interchangeable, you could convert one thrall type to another one, with some good chance of rebellion. Add on top of that the ability to target certain races for extermination/enslavement in your empire and the "evil" archetype would be mostly complete.
On the characters section, we have so much space for improvement. Every character should exist and be represented on map. That is, if I blow a research base that has X scientist character, he could have a chance to escape in a escape pod and be stranded there in space, represented by a tiny space pod, and the enemy could pick him up with a ship before you rescue him and interrogate or torture him to obtain help or info on new technologies or obtain info on the technologies your empire researched. Same thing could be done with admirals, spies and governors, each disclosing other information and making losing them more painful. Or they could be ransomed back to you. Maybe common soldier also would be stranded in escape pods when a ship blow ups and after capturing some of them the enemy empire could obtain some infos, or could ransom you back, every decision impacting relations and reputation. Torturing lowering your reputation and refusing to pay a ransom would also lead to further decrease. Spies could be made double agents and could be extracted this way. Ambassadors could be kidnapped before a war begins or even kidnapped by rebels (via event) in an unstable empire, souring relations and even leading to war.
Add on top of that a custom medal system (think Aurora 4X),where you can choose the medal from pre-determined or custom images and add names and a "relevance" of the award and give it to someone. For example, you could award one human scientist a Honor to the Merit Medal for his contributions in Science, raising his loyalty to you and making him work harder (acquire skills faster). The Admiral in charge of the huge battle of Epsilon Five that came out as a decisive victory in the human-boskaran war could win one "hero" medal for his service, making him a national hero and giving his troops and ships more morale. Moreover, having him killed, captured or refusing to pay a ransom for him could lead to different degrees of civil unrest as the national hero is important. That could lead to great attachment to certain characters. If we implement the double agent thing, unrewarded characters could be more prone to switch sides or even turn into spies/scientists, faking working for you while selling privileged info for your enemies. Add on top of that custom portraits and maybe a wage system and you have a complete and deep character system.
I guess I'm hijacking your post with my own wishlist. Sorry Shark, I was just trying to point out we can dream bigger.
< Message edited by arkhometha -- 6/24/2013 5:35:26 AM >